For Oklahoma adults who dream of finishing college, a diploma may not be out of reach. Rose State is one of 14 Oklahoma colleges participating in the statewide Reach Higher program, which aims to make completing a degree as flexible as possible. Whether after a hiatus from school, switching careers, or major life changes, Reach Higher is designed to accommodate working adults as they finish an associate’s degree, giving them the tools to further their career or move toward a bachelor’s degree.
The Reach Higher program lets students choose a convenient college location. Also, previously earned college credit hours are taken into account, so the work you’ve already done isn’t wasted. Reach Higher participants must have at least 18 hours of existing college credits with a GPA of at least 2.0 for those classes.
Reach Higher offers year-round enrollment, as well as both on-campus and online classes to fit working adults’ busy schedules.
Rose State offers Reach Higher students an Associate in Arts General Studies degree in Enterprise Development, which works with almost any previous educational credits and allows students to pursue whichever career direction they may choose.
Monique Bruner, director of Reach Higher at Rose State, enjoys helping students figure out a way to earn a degree in a way that fits into their lifestyle.
“Generally, Reach Higher appeals to students returning to college, who have never completed a degree,” Bruner says. “Many are in their 30s or older; most have children; they’re working full-time and they might be looking to switch career paths.”
Rose State’s Reach Higher degree plan follows a general education course of study that can help graduates eventually transfer to four-year institutions. “The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education designed Reach Higher this way so that your existing college credit hours can count forsomething,” Bruner explains. “Any class you’ve already completed that’s college level and letter-graded will count toward your new degree.”
Bradley Randle is one of the working students taking advantage of Reach Higher through Rose State. Randle is active in the military, and until he began classes at Rose State, he had no idea the level of information and opportunities available to military personnel like him who want to finish college.
“I’d been out of school for a while but was taking some classes at Rose because I wanted to finish my degree. I talked to Monique (Bruner), and she walked me through the process,” Randle says. “I’d taken some classes before the military, but Rose State was able to be flexible. They worked with me and gave me another chance.”
Randle says many of his colleagues in the military want to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and finish their degrees, but many simply don’t know where to get their questions answered or where to start. “Rose State answered all of my questions,” Randle says. “Monique had a lot of suggestions and ideas to make this program work for me. I’d absolutely recommend Reach Higher to other military students.”
Randle completed his associate’s degree at Rose State and is on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Central Oklahoma in December 2016. He’ll minor in business and hopes to pair his military experience with his education for expanded career opportunities. He encourages anyone wanting to finish college to look into Reach Higher at Rose State. He says he can’t thank Bruner and the support staff at Rose State enough.
“Monique helped steer me in the right direction and she really just enjoys helping students,” he says. “She’s amazing.”
Rose State strives to accommodate those with the drive to finish their degrees. Through Reach Higher’s flexible class options and credit for courses previously completed, a degree could be closer than you might expect. Learn more about Reach Higher today.